DIY or Call a Plumber?
With the growing popularity of home improvement shows like those on HGTV, it has become far more common for homeowners to get overzealous as to the types of projects that they can take on themselves.
Completely remodel a master bath including relocating plumbing – I’ve seen Chip and Joanna Gaines do that a hundred times!
It can’t be that hard, right?
When it comes to plumbing, it is essential to understand what projects you can realistically take on yourself versus those that require professionals like those at Linthicum Plumbing.
Below are common household plumbing issues or small updates that many homeowners can tackle on their own:
Constantly Running Toilet
If your toilet is always running, don’t worry because this is often a relatively easy repair.
Most often, the flapper (black or red rubber piece at the bottom of the tank) has eroded and needs to be replaced to ensure a sealed fit allowing the tank to fill up.
Alternatively, you may have a leak in the fill valve which is the larger of the two upright plastic pieces in the tank.
Replacement toilet components can be purchased inexpensively at any local hardware store, and there is ample step by step material online with pictures and videos walking homeowners through these types of repairs.
Leaky faucets, like a constantly running toilet, is annoying, but also easily repairable. Most often, internal components like washers or rubber ‘o rings’ have eroded which prevent the faucet from keeping a tight seal.
These types of internal components are inexpensive and can also be purchased at any local hardware store.
Clogged Bath & Shower Drains
When assessing a clogged bath or shower drain, it is essential first to check that nothing is obstructing the water from freely flowing through the pipes.
The build-up of hair and soap should be removed routinely.
If drain back up persists, liquid drain cleaners (e.g., Drano) can be attempted – these products include strong chemicals that can break down buildup within your plumbing.
Installing New Bath Hardware
With a few necessary tools, such as plumber’s putty and plumber’s tape, you can replace most sink faucets, shower heads, and bath hardware.
New hardware from popular manufacturers like Moen and American Standard comes with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow and will ensure you get the job done like a professional.
This is a task that is very simple but often forgotten in the months leading up to winter. Winterizing all outdoor spigots at your home is essential to keep your pipes from freezing.
Each spigot is equipped with a shutoff valve inside the home which should be closed.
After closing the inside shutoff valve, the outside pipes should be left open to let all water left in the lines properly drain. This prevents water within the external valves from freezing, expanding, and damaging your plumbing.
Below are examples of more extensive repairs and renovations where you are best served by consulting experts like those at Linthicum Plumbing.
Most plumbing is hidden out of sight, throughout the walls and ceiling of your home.
A leaking pipe within a finished wall or ceiling is often diagnosed by dark water rings appearing on the surface. This type of repair should be performed by a plumbing professional as they can quickly identify the source of the leak while preventing further damage from your drywall.
Your mainline is used to move wastewater from your house into the community sewage system.
The mainline typically runs from your basement to a sewer line beneath the street.
When a mainline backs up, wastewater fills up and can re-enter your home through the drains at your home’s lowest level. It’s possible for the mainline to get clogged by items that are not disposable such as diapers, sanitary products, and children’s toys.
It is also possible for the mainline to get clogged over time with things like a thirsty tree root that penetrated the mainline and started growing inside the pipe. As a result, this can obstruct the flow of wastewater and keep it from flowing away from your home.
Professional plumbers have commercial grade equipment to snake your plumbing and repair mainlines.
Major Kitchen & Bathroom Renovations
If you are doing a major kitchen or bathroom renovation, you will likely need the services of a professional plumber.
Many remodel projects involve reconfiguring the layout of the room which requires plumbing to be rerouted to accommodate the new design.
Examples of these types of projects include installing a new kitchen island equipped with a new sink or moving a shower from one side of the bathroom to another.
These types of plumbing projects need to be done right the first time; otherwise, you could be looking at costly repairs down the road.
Water Heater Repairs & Installations
Whole-home water heaters have a life expectancy of 8-12 years. As a water heater ages, the large tank can become corroded or damaged causing a leak which can be a significant issue.
Homeowners are often forced to be reactive instead of proactive when thinking about upgrading their water heater.
A licensed plumber can walk you through the various options for water heaters such as a tank vs. tankless decision, electric vs. gas, geothermal, solar powered, and other hybrid options.
A new, efficient water heater is a smart investment that will help avoid costly water damage and also reduce your utility bills.
No matter your plumbing project – straightforward or complex – the professional plumbers at Linthicum Plumbing are happy to help with your plumbing repairs or upgrades.